Sunday, 8 April 2018

part 30 : Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan


Naina called Surya as soon as Dilip left for work. She couldn't sleep whole night with tension. Gayatri picked up the phone on other end. "Gayatri! Kaise hai aap log? Na koyi khabar? No phone calls? Theek toh hai na?  Theek se Hyderabad toh pahoonchey they na?" She showed overwhelming greetings taunting Gayatri indirectly for not keeping touch with them after they left.


Gayatri purposely ignored her taunts and wished lovingly. "Haan, bhabhi! Hum log theek thaak hai. Yeh (Surya) bhi college mein busy reh raha hai." She enquired about Khanna children lately.

Naina invited them formally, "Aaney wala Saturday ko Aaliyah aur Prithvi ka sagai hai. Ek hafta mein shadi bhi.. Aap sab log jaroor ayiyega. Aaliyah ki shadi hote hi Anittah ki mangni bhi karlengey. Mannan ka pariwar sab Pakistan se ek mahina ke baad wapas aa rahey hai." She purposely mentioned about Mannan. Gayatri felt little discomfort to hear about Mannan but kept quiet.

She sighed after Naina hung up and showed her concern in front of Kripa. "Papa kabhi nahin manengey yeh rista ko. Kya inn logon ko Mannan ke siwa aur koyi mila nahin? Papa ka toh pehle se hi inkaar tha. Abb uss khandan se rista jodna kabhi mumkeen nahin hogi."

Kripa warned Gayatri, "Mama! Papa ko pehla shak tha Anitah aur Mannan ke barein mein. Aur Aaliyah ki rista se koyi aitraaz nahin tha. Papa ko Aaliyah ke barein mein kehdo magar Anittah ki barein mein nahin. Main Angad se baat karungi. Humara shadi honey tak Anittah ki shadi rukwaney ke liye." Gayatri agreed with Kripa's thoughts.

Gayatri conveyed Naina's message to Surya in the evening after Surya's return. He sighed aloud, "Kaisa khandan tha humara? Bua aaj kiss kiss ke saat rista jode rahi hai?"

Gayatri didn't want to lose the opportunity. "Hum kab Kripa ki baat agey badayengey?"

Surya sharply looked at her. "Kal hi ek acha rista pur pani pher diya tha na? Aur kiss umeed se agey badaoonga?" He pretended innocent.

Gayatri frowned, "Apko pata hai main uss rista ka barein mein nahin baat kar rahi hoon. Angad aur Kripa ki barein mein sochiye. Kabb Naina bhabhi aur Dilip bhai ko khabar karengey baat aagey badaney ke liye?"

Surya took deep breath as he expected the question sooner or later, "Humey yeh rista ka siva kuch aur nahin mila!! Kya jaldi hai? Badey Kartik ka shadi honey do, sochlengey."

Gayatri continued, "Tab tak aap Kripa ke liye koyi aur rista nahin le ayengey na?"

Surya didn't promise her and silently retired to bed.

*********

"Papa! Aap Ridhi se poochliya? Wo Arman se kitna pyar karti hai jaantey huvay bhi  yeh sab taiyyariyan kar rahey hai?" Anjali was worried when Shashank asked her to shop for the engagement.

Shashank nodded his head, "main uss Arman ko meri beti ka haat kabhi thaam ney nahin doonga. Agar Ridhima ussi se shadi karna chahti toh wo mujhey humesha ke liye bhuljana padega."

"Agar wo aapko chodney ko taiyyar hogayi toh?" Anjali raised doubt.

Shashank frowned. Anjali took his hand in hers, "papa aap kyon itna stubborn horaha hai? Arman pur aapko itna hatred kyon haI? Aap jaantey hai Ridhi arman ke saat hi rehna chahti hai."

Shashank interrupted her, "I can never accept Arman as my son-in-law. I just can't bear him in my surroundings. Mera aaspaas bhi usse bardash nahin karsakta hoon. Agar Ridhima uske saat hi rehna chahti hai toh ussey mujhse aur mere pariwar se door rehna padega. That's my final decision."

Anjali couldn't force him anymore and silently walked away to inform Atul. Ridhima overheard and ran into her room to cry her heart out. After an hour she had decided to leave for Hyderabad by the first flight in the morning; this time after declaring openly to everyone.

**********

"Itna subah kaun aaya hai?" Gayatri asked Kripa to answer the door bell while she was busy in making morning coffee for Surya. Kripa wiped her face with towel after brushing her teeth and walked to the door.

"ANGAD!" she whispered aloud with surprise widening her big dark eyes. Angad made sure none around her and gave a quick peck to her "Good to see you welcoming me."  She blushed into pink and bit her lower lip as licked them to settle her excitement.

"Kaun hai, Kripa!" Gayatri walked out as Kripa took enough time to say about the morning visitor. "Angad! Tum? Achanak yahan? What a surprise? Aao andar ajao." She affectionately invited him inside after checked Kripa's pink face. Kripa lowered her eyes and walked behind Gayatri giving adorable looks at Angad while he touched Gayatri's feet. "Pranam, maami!"

Surya walked out to greet Angad. "Kaisa hai, Angad?  Ghar mein sab kaisay hai? Good to see you here."

Gayatri brought coffee for Angad and milk for Kripa while Surya took care of Angad.  Angad explained about his trip while finished his coffee. Surya left for shower and puja to start his day. He warned Gayatri secretly to keep Kripa away from Angad. Kripa followed her mother like shadow as Surya kept an eye on both lovers.

"Kripa! Angad ka shower ke liye arrangements karo." Gayatri ordered when she looked after arrangements for puja. Surya angrily whispered at Gayatri, "tum kyon usse Angad ke paas janey deti hai? Khud nahin kar sakti?" Gayatri intentionally sent Kripa to Angad and defended herself, "uski bava hi hai na? Paraya toh nahin. Mein apka kaam pur busy hoon." Surya didn't like it but kept quiet after warning her strongly, "Abhi tak main iss rista ka koyi jawab nahin diya. Rista pakka honey tak donon ko door rakhna jaroori hai." Gayatri nodded her head as agreed. She didn't want any more arguments in front of guest.

"Baava! Yeh kya kar raha hai. Koyi ajayega." Kripa anxiously warned Angad when he caught Kripa before going into bathroom. "Just  ek quick kiss dedo. Bahut miss kar raha hoon." He pulled her closer. Kripa pushed him away, "No way. Watch your behavior here, bava! Papa kahin aaspaas hi hongey." Angad caught her hand, "After lunch can we go out?" Kripa shook her head sideway and released her hand, "Mama ka permission lena padega." Angad agreed with a mischievous smile 'okay' and flew a kiss. She blushed and mocked with her tongue out. He smiled adorably at her and she stuck her eyes on him. Gayatri's shout made Angad immediately escape into bathroom and Kripa ran into kitchen.

"Bava! Mama is asking you to join in the prayer room. Papa is waiting for you too." Kripa came when Angad merged into bedroom with a towel around him after his shower. She gasped at seeing his broad bare chest for the first time and lowered eyes with blush. He smiled lovingly and stepped towards her. She startled and escaped before he could catch her.

Angad admired the way the threesome devotionally prayed with their songs and chants. All the three wore traditional silk cloths, especially Gayatri in kacha style and Surya in dhoti as mend the culture in their blood. Surya proudly looked at Angad after he finished his puja. "Humara ghar mein subah har din yahi scene dikhayi deti hai. Especially, Kartik mahina mein Shiv puja bahut nistha se karta hoon. Humara gaon mein jab tumhara naana zinda rehta tha, tub toh aisa lagta tha ki sakshaat Shiv ji apna ghar mein pravesh huva hai. Tum yeh sab tumhari dadi se sunliya hoga."

Angad understood Surya's pride about his culture and smiled, "Haan, mama  jee! Dadi is very conservative when it comes to these customs. Humey kabhi force toh nahin karti thi." He hinted how moderate they were.



Surya nodded as he knew about it, ""Jitney bhi modern ho humara sanskruti ko kabhi nahin bulna chahiye. Kripa issi sanskaron mein pali badi huvi hai. Wo har tarah puja path jaanti hai. Yeh sab sanskaron ko humey hi aagey peediyon tak lekey jana hai."

Angad smiled as agreed, "Dadi humey sab sikhaliya hai.Aabhi bhi humse puja path karvati hai. Wo aaj bhi orthodox rahi. Koyi subh dinon mein kissi ko kitchen mein haat nahin laganey deti."

"Humey pata hai. Bua toh aaj bhi apni mayka ko miss karti hai. Main uski aankhon mein dekh liya tha. Aakhir wo bhi ussi orthodox khandan se aayi hai. Kaise bhul sakegi apni reeti rivazon ko?  Humara baba puja ke samay brahmanon ke siva kissi aur ko ghar ke andar nahin aaney deta tha. Apna khoon ka rista ko bhi usne khatir nahin kiya. Jab tumhari dadi ne apni pariwar ko lekar aayi thi baba ne bua ko  humara sang khana bhi nahin khaney diya. Itna orthodox tha wo. Apni khoon ko apaman karke wo bahut manovyakulan ched liya tha. Khash bua jab yeh pyar ke chakkar mein nahin padta aaj sab ek saat kitna kush rehte honge."

Angad felt pain in Surya's pride. "Apnon ko khoney ka dard aap jantey huvey bhi kyon mere aur Kripa ki rista ko thodna chahte hai? kyon iss purani andha viswas ko maankar apni beti ki dukh ki karan banta hai?" He couldn't find any other best chance to bring up the topic into Surya's presence.

Kripa moved closer to Gayatri when casual conversation turned into serious matter.  Gayatri worriedly stared at them. Surya shook his head as understood Angad's question. "Andha viswas? Kiss kiss ko andha viswas kehta hai tu, Angad? Hur ladki shadi ke baad mayka ko chodkar pati ka ghar apna ghar samjhna purani rivaz maanlogi. Kya tum apna ghar chodkar mera ghar ghar jamai bankar aa sakega? Kya tum uss rivaz ko mita sakega? Main api beti ko bahut sanskaron se pala posha hai. Kya wo sab chodkar tumhara ghar mein kul bhrasthe karne doonga? Ya..tum ek Brahman ka sanskar maan kar mera ghar mein apne saat apne tareekon se jee sakega?"

Gayatri was shocked at Surya's challenge. "Aap yeh kya kehrahey hai? Kanyadan  ke badle ghar jamai ko lena chahte hai? Yeh kaisa reeti hai?"

Surya faintly smiled, "Yeh Angad humari beti se pyar karta hai. Aur iske liye yeh apna maa baap ko manakar iss ghar ki reeti ko apnana hoga. Kya wo karsakega? Kyon ki uska maa baap toh hur kul-varne lgon ko apnaney ko taiyyar hai. Bahut modern hai na? Phir wo kyon humara sanskar ko apnayengey?"

Angad was equally shocked and helplessly looked at Gayatri. Kripa was confused at her father's demand.  Gayatri sighed, "yeh kya naya tareeka hai bachon ko tadapaney ka? Chaliye college ka waqt horaha hai. Khana parsoongi."

Surya quietly walked inside. Kripa and Angad exchanged looks blankly. He walked to Kripa when both parents disappeared from scene. "Ghar jamai ban jaoon? Itna toh kar sakta hoon tumhare liye, apna pyar ke liye." Kripa was stunned and blushed at his mischievous looks.  She mocked him with her tongue out. He laughed with satisfaction and pinched her cheek quickly. She wiped her cheek after moving his hand. She ran into kitchen before Angad could touch her again.

***********

"Papa! Main aaj Hyderabad wapas jaana chahti hoon. Arman ke paas." Ridhima slowly threw bombshell in front of Shashank at breakfast table. He startled, "kya?" Anjali immediately interfered, "Ridhi! Iss samay tum wapas jana chahti hai? Papa abhi tak bimar hai. Don't you want to stay beside him?"

Ridhima angrily stared at Anjali. She was surprised for Anjali's selfish behaviour. "Doesn't she know about my love towards Arman? Mere saat aisa kyon papa ki tarah behave karti hai?  Kyon aisa behave karti hai jaisa main koyi dood pita bacha hoon. Why she demands me to follow papa? I know these people plans. Main kabhi Arman se door nahin hoongi." She thought firmly in mind.

Shashank softly asked Ridhima to stop for few days more with him. "Abhi aayi ho aur kuch din mere paas raho. Main theek honey tak." Anjali supported him,  "Haan Ridhi! Kuch aur din ruk jao. Papa theek hotey hi chale jao. Kyon wapas jaaney ki itna utlaav horahi hai?"

Ridhima decided not to hide anymore, "Papa! Main jaanti hoon aap kyon mujhey rukna chahta hai. Main Arman ke saat rehna chahti hoon. Main uske paas bahut kush hoon. Uske alawa kissi ko mere jindagi mein jaga nahin hai. Main  Arman ko pati maan chukka hoon. Humey aapke ashirvad ke siva aur kuch nahin chahiye" she continued. She swallowed hesitantly to spell shamelessly about their commitment.

Shashank was shocked at Ridhima's confession. His eyes welled up with disappointment and defeat. His dreams were scattered at that moment. "Ridhima!" he uttered her name with stress. "Aakhir tum yeh kari diya hai na? Papa ko bina bataye uss Arman ke saat rista jod liya? Kya aisa kaam kartey waqt zara bhi tumhara papa ka yaad nahin aayi? Kya itna paraya hogaya hoon apni beti ke liye?" He was suddenly worried about facing Naina now. Sweat drops filled over his forehead. He trembled and groaned aloud. He held his heart with one hand and leaned back in the couch nearby.

Ridhima felt guilty, "papa aap kyon Arman se itna nafrat karta hai? Kya dosh hai uska? Aap Atul jiju ko apnaya magar Arman ko accept nahin karpa rahey hai? Kyon? Aap mere liye Arman ko bardash nahin kar sakta hai?"

Shashank flared his nostrils with hatred, "haan, bardash nahin karpa raha hoon. I hate him. I hate that family. Atul ka baat alag hai. Wo mera jaisa soft hai. Jaan na chati ho main kyon Arman ko nafrat karta hoon? Kyon ki uska har kadam uska baap ka yaad dilata rehta hai. Uska baap mujhse mera pyar ko cheen liya tha. Mera pyar ka apman kiya tha. Uske wajah se hi uska sasur mujhey thukraya tha. Kyon ki main uss ka status ka barabar nahin tha."

Ridhima knelt down with tears in front of Shashank and took his hands in hers. "Kya aap humara maa se pyar nahin karta?"

Shashank wiped his tears, "Karta hoon. Wahin toh ek sahara tha mera jeeney ka! Magar mera pehla pyar ko main kabhi bhula nahin paya. Aur uski wajah ko bhi."

Ridhima caressed his hands, "Papa! Main samajh rahi hoon aapka dard. Kya wahin dard mujhey dena chahte hai? Kya main bhi apni pyar ke liye saari jindagi aapki tarah tadpta raoon? Yahin chahte hai aap?"

Shashank removed his hands from hers, "main Arman ko tadpta dekhna chahta hoon. Uske liye tumhari madat ka umeed rakhta hoon. Tumhara pyar Arman ke liye jada hai ya apna papa ke saat? Yeh tum decide karlo."

Ridhima cried for his adamant and foolish one track mind. "Papa mere liye tum donon important hai. I cannot sacrifice one for another. Please, aap yeh punishment mujhey mut deejiye."

Shashank rubbed his eyes to wipe his tears. He heaved a sigh out, "tum mera dard samajh nahin paa rahi hai, Ridhima!. Agar tum Arman ke saat hi rehna chahti hai toh humesha ke liye mujhey aur iss ghar ko bhul jao. Mera dil ko 35 saal se jo samjhaata aaraha hoon wahi baaki jindagi mein bhi karoonga..ki..meri beti bhi mujhey thukraya hai." He groaned out to control his tension. He rubbed his chest as he felt uneasiness.

Anjali noticed it and immediately took him in her hands. "PAPA!!" Ridhima was stunned and tried to rub his chest as snuggled him. "PAPA!"

Atul ran to the scene and immediately called for ambulance. "Atul! Ambulance ki jaroorat nahin hai. Let's take him to hospital. That would be faster."

Anjali stopped Ridhima from getting into car. "Ridz! Tum ghar pur hi ruk jao. Tumhari wajah se hi yeh sab horaha hai. I don't want papa excite on seeing you. Tum naani ke saat ruk jao."

Ridhima broke into tears, "di! Aisa mut kaho. I didn't do anything on purpose."

"I know you dint do anything on purpose magar huva toh tumhari wajah se hi na? Stay away from him. For God sake atleast till he reovers." Anjali replied.

Atul shouted at both sisters, "tum donon aise hi argue kartey rahengey?"

Atul and Anjali headed to hospital in Atul's car. Ridhima stayed back with tears as Naani took her into her embrace. He was taken into emergency ward as Atul made all arrangements on the way to hospital.

vijaya

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